Sealed Stories: Case Studies in Lead Seal Identification and Analysis

Author(s): Cathrine M. Davis

Year: 2020


This is a poster submission presented at the 2020 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

This poster will present information concerning lead seals from French Colonial sites in North America resulting from recent research in historic sigillography. Lead seals were historically used to mark various products after inspection, purchase, or taxation and to convey necessary information concerning quality, quantity, legality, and origin. Lead seals formerly attached to historic textiles are able to provide information on not only what textiles were present at a site, but also where these archaeologically underrepresented materials came from and what organizations, groups, and individuals were involved in their production, circulation, and importation. Case studies of seals identified and analyzed with the help of extensive documentary research will help illuminate the intricacy of trade networks between France and New France. Examples included in this presentation will demonstrate the value of lead seals in approaching larger questions about the role of identities, entanglement, and social networks in the eighteenth-century global textile trade.

Cite this Record

Sealed Stories: Case Studies in Lead Seal Identification and Analysis. Cathrine M. Davis. 2020 ( tDAR id: 457450)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Lead Seals Textiles Trade

Geographic Keywords
United States of America

Temporal Keywords
17th- 18th centuries

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 965